Nesebar, Bulgaria

Nesebar is one of the most beautiful and beloved Bulgarian cities. It is famous for its architectural and historical heritage. In 1983 the old town of Nesebar became a part of the list of World Heritage by UNESCO. Today, this monument is one of the most visited places in the country and the number of tourists usually exceed repeatedly that of the local inhabitants.

st. archangels michael and gabriel nesebarGeography of Nesebar. Nesebar is located on the southern coast of Bulgaria and on the north is connected to the biggest Bulgarian sea resort – Sunny Beach.

Less than a kilometer to the south is located Ravda – also a tourist town. Nesebar is located about a half hour drive from Bourgas and just over an hour from Varna.

Part of Nesebar is located on the small, but famous peninsula. It is connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus.

Many people mistakenly believe that Nesebar is an island which is connected to the mainland in an artificial way due to its proximity to it.

The isthmus is actually as narrow as to build a roadway. This road, which is the only land link with the continent was fortified on both sides with concrete blocks, which aim is to break the huge waves in winter.

Because of its peculiar location it has become one of the most interesting and attractive towns in Bulgaria.

old town nesebarClimate of Nesebar. Nesebar has a temperate climate with a softening influence on the Black Sea. Summers are very warm, sometimes hot. Last from early June to late September.

Temperatures usually reach to around 30°C in the shade, but sometimes can become very hot. In the autumn temperatures usually fall quickly.

In October and especially November the weather is changeable. The rainfall quantity increases, and sea surface temperatures become lower.

Winter months are December, January and February. In this part of the year the temperatures are lowest. During the day, can reach to about 5 – 6°C even in January, but the nights are frosty with negative temperatures.

Snowfalls are possible but when it happens the snow is perishable. As a whole winter in Nesebar is much warmer than inland. Spring comes more slowly in comparison with autumn.

The reason is the relatively slow seawater warming. In March, temperatures are still almost winter – about 10 – 11°C. By the end of May it comes also and the end of spring.

Daily temperatures in May can become very high and even to acquire summer values, but each year is different. Precipitation is most scarce during the summer months, especially in August and September.

narrow street nesebarPopulation and economy. The town of Nesebar is home to approximately 19,000 inhabitants.

Most of them live on the coast as long ago the little peninsula has proved too narrow for all its inhabitants. Some of the locals are Greeks in origin, although they perceive themselves as Bulgarians.

Most of the inhabitants of Nesebar are employed in the tourism industry. Hotels and restaurants there are behind every corner.

Even people who are not employed in hotels and restaurants rely heavily on tourists. Some of them are the numerous vendors of souvenirs.

In dozens of souvenir shops are available icons, figurines made from sea snail and shells, from wood and what not.

Tourism in Nesebar

nesebar old fortressNesebar consists of two parts – old and new. The new part of the town is located on the mainland coast and represent a small tourist town with relatively good infrastructure for Bulgarian standards.

The old town of Nesebar is a historical monument and is located precisely on the famous peninsula. It is about 350 meters distanced from the shore.

Beauty begins even before you have entered the old city. At the entrance old windmill welcomes you into the town.

Of course, today it is not used, but at the expense of this is a preparation for what you will see in the old town.

As in earlier times, not the tourism industry, but fishing was most significant for local residents, arriving to the old city today you will see a statue of a fisherman, which rises to almost 15 meters above the sea level.

It is made of bronze and is one of the newest works of art in the city. Nesebar is considered to be one of the places with the most beautiful architecture in Bulgaria.

Because of its old style houses, churches, chapels, museums and historical excavations the city is of great interest for Bulgarian and foreign tourists and is among the most visited places in the country.

Walking along the narrow cobbled streets you can enjoy the beautiful Old Bulgarian architecture. Key elements in the old buildings are wood and stone and the colors are usually represented by white, brown and beige shades.

Many old buildings have been processed into hotels, and if you want to eat something delicious there are many taverns where you can enjoy traditional Bulgarian cuisine.

The peninsula, which today is occupied by this beautiful city is inhabited from the late Bronze Age, but the real development of Nesebar began in the 6th century BC when the first Greeks arrived here and brought with them their highly developed for those times culture.

In its development from ancient times until today the city has worn different names – Messembria, Messemvria, Melsabriya.

Here have left their cultural imprint first Thracians and Greeks, but in more recent times, Byzantium and the Roman Empire.

old church nesebarNesebar and its churches. One of the biggest attractions of Nesebar are its numerous churches. Many of them are older than most European countries!

Be sure to visit the Church of St. Archangels Michael and Gabriel (dating from the 13th century), Jesus Christ Pantocrator (13th century), St. John the Baptist (11th century), St. Stephen’s Church (from the 11th century), St. Paraskeva (completed in the 14th century).

Older and therefore more interesting are the churches Virgin Mary Eleusa and Saint Sophia. Both date from the fifth century. Both are partially preserved.

Do not miss also the little newer Church of St.Theodore. It dates from the 8th century and is practically the oldest functioning church in Nesebar.

Listed churches are only a small part of what you’ll find in this fascinating city. Their total number is around 40, but these are some of the most interesting in terms of their history and architecture.

the old windmill nesebarBeaches of Nesebar. Although the old town of Nesebar is surrounded by water, virtually there are no beaches. The beach is only one and its length is only several meters.

If you can find a place here you can swim and lounge on the sand just a few steps away from the countless sights, but the likelihood is small.

So it will be better for you if you choose the beach of Sunny Beach resort or even better – the beaches south of Nesebar. The sand is beige-yellow, and the beach is large enough to accommodate all visitors.

st. archangels michael and gabrielEntering a car in Nesebar. If you arrive here by car will be better to consider a place for parking.

Since the town is quite small and the streets are narrow is very difficult to find a parking space.

It is best to use the services of a paid parking, because otherwise you risk bitter stay in Nesebar.

Sometimes the passage of a car is a real challenge as the local streets are quite narrow and zigzag in different directions.

Therefore it is best to park your car immediately after arriving on the peninsula. Do not worry about the distances. In the widest part, the old town of Nesebar is less than one kilometer.

roman terms nesebarWhat is the best time for tourism in Nesebar? Since the city relies heavily on its cultural resources for tourism development, tourist season is year-round.

However, tourists mainly arrive during the summer months. For example, if you want to combine sea and cultural tourism is good to choose the period from early June until mid-September.

But if the beach is not at the forefront for you, then it is preferable to travel during the spring and autumn months, because then you will avoid the huge crowds of tourists.

For example, in April, May, October and November you can see everything without someone to get in your way.

From December to March the weather is cold, and as the old town was built on a peninsula weather looks even more dank and windy.

old town nesebar bulgariaWhat clothes to wear for hiking in Nesebar? From June to September weather is very warm. It is best to bring sufficient light clothing as it can get pretty hot.

For September, however, you can bring and light overcoat, as the nights are cool. In October and November the weather is mild.

Most often the temperatures are between 10 and 20 degrees and you probably will feel most comfortable with a thin jacket.

From late November to late March – early April the weather is cold and warm winter jacket must attend mandatory in your luggage.

In April is most appropriate to wear a warm anorak or thin jacket, and in May you will find almost summer weather.

It is best to put in your luggage thin summer clothes, but will be better to take also and some warmer clothes just in case.